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Signs Your Company Culture Needs a Fix Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


There is little doubt that the best performing firms on the planet have exciting and healthy cultures – think Google, Southwest and Nike – while other organi­zations seem to be in a constant state of struggle to reach their full potential. Intere­sti­ngly, the leadership teams at struggling companies are often confounded to understand the reasons for their firm’s “under­per­for­mance”. Company culture is often to blame. Here are 10 signs that your company culture needs a fix:


1. Your business routinely falls short of its goals. Underp­erf­ormance is a key indicator that “Rome is burning” within your business. Lackluster perfor­mance can suggest a lack of unders­tan­ding, ability or interest among staff to do better – and those charac­ter­istics suggests that your company culture that needs to be delibe­rately improved.
2. Your people don’t demons­trate a strong commitment to the firm. Weak Company Affili­ation as reflected by high employee turnover, low energy and in less than stellar net promoter scores, indicates a cultural weakness that hurts the retention of your best and brightest.
3. Your people don’t trust their leaders. A mistrust of Leadership & Management can present itself in many ways, including staff regularly questi­oning manage­ment’s motiva­tions, behaviors and practices. High mistrust indicates a company culture in need of repair.
4. Your people complain that they don’t understand how “what they do” helps the business. A lack of Strategic Alignment & Staff Connec­tion, as demons­trated by an underc­urrent of doubt and misund­ers­tanding about company direction among employees, points to a lack of commun­ica­tion. Poor commun­ication is a produc­tivity killer.

Signs Continued

5. Your people describe working in silos (and you don’t run a farm!). A lack of Collab­oration & Teamwork among staff and work units suggests an organi­zation in need of cultural repair. After all, the best results come from the “we”, not the “I”.
6. Your people don’t feel that they have what they need to perform at their best. Staff must be enabled to get their jobs done. Innovation & Enablement comes by having the tools, techno­logies and freedom required to re-invent the way work is done. Often overlooked as a cultural element, but a firm’s innovation bias can make or break a business.
7. Your people don’t feel like they “own” the results. As discussed in last week’s article, the sense of Ownership & Respon­sib­ility can be enhanced by empowering people to use their own free will to exceed all expect­ations. Many leaders undere­stimate the importance of empowe­rment in their cultures, don’t be one of them!
8. Your people carp about the lack of positive feedback. The absence of Feedback & Recogn­ition within an organi­zation suggests that it is a tough place to work. Tough places of work are often the ones riddled with deep rooted culture challenges that, if left unchecked, can lead to their total collapse.
9. Your people are critical of the lack of opport­unity that exists in the firm. Career stagnation is often a charac­ter­istic of an organi­zation that lacks a commitment to Learning & Develo­pment. Personnel feel handcuffed to current roles and can’t move up because they’re not presented with the opport­unities needed to develop the skills required to advance.
10. Your people’s loudest gripe is about job burnout. A culture that lacks a deliberate focus on mainta­ining a healthy Work/Life Balance is often charac­terized by low staff morale, high employee burn-out and lower than average production from the workforce. It’s a quality of an organi­zation in need of cultural transf­orm­ation.